Growing up, my mom had an in-home daycare. Ashton & Eric happen to be 2 of the first children she cared for. We were all about the same age, between 4-5 years old, so we spent a lot of time together playing, running, jumping, exploring etc.. After a while, both Ashton and Eric fell head over heels in love with me and they would often fight over who loved me more. I don’t remember much of the details of these fights, but my mom tells me that they got pretty heated. Luckily, the fighting has subsided and we are still friends to this day 🙂
So with Mardi Gras right around the corner and the Saints on the way to the Super Bowl for the first time in their history, memories of my hometown have been looming over my head.
As a child I remember celebrating Mardi Gras: the parades, decorative floats, festive dancers, and soulful marching bands. I remember the anticipation as we stood on the side of the road waiting for a parade to start. I can still hear the sound of the distant bass drum from one of the marching bands, it was one of the first signs that the parade was almost there. I remember the Clydesdales as they marched by looking so majestic & noble, the queens & kings on the floats, and the crowd yelling “HEY MISTER, THROW ME SOMETHING!!!”
I watched the pretty Dance Connection dancers with their purple & white outfits as they danced by, their white boots with tassels would make a scratching noise on the pavement as they passed. I thought I was going to be one of them when I grew up, but little did I know I couldn’t dance.
I can still smell the exhaust from the tractors that would pull the floats, the sounds of the doubloons as they hit the cement, and the pain of getting my hand stepped on as I fearlessly lunged to get one.
Even outside of Mardi Gras season, the city of New Orleans is a world of rich culture filled with vibrant art, unique music, mouth watering food, and happy people. I was so blessed to of spent the first part of my childhood in such a great city. I still go back often to recapture some of my childhood and to get more imagery and memories for future paintings
Oh, and one more thing: WHO DAT?!?! 😀
So back in the day, there was a trampoline park down the street. I think it cost like $1.50 for 30 minutes and for an extra .25 cents, they would turn on the sprinklers, which today, really sounds like an extreme safety hazard.
When you first arrived to the park, you had to walk down a path covered by a breezeway and white gravel on the ground. On the left side of the walkway were these signs with crazy looking zombie creatures painted on them. Next to each zombie was a handwritten list of potential hazards and various warnings related to trampoline jumping. The phrase “at your own risk” still comes to mind when I think of a trampoline.
I can’t tell you how many times I fell off or hit the side rails on the way down. I was far from athletic, let alone a gymnast, but I sure tried to flip and turn my airborne body in every direction imaginable. Surprisingly, I never broke anything, just some minor bumps and bruises and lots of silly laughter…
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I thought my green big wheel was really cool and loved riding it around. I still remember the wind blowing through my pig tails and the sound of the hard plastic wheels rolling on the pavement… life was good 🙂
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